Just as it has done with everything from concert festivals to family Christmas gatherings, the coronavirus has blown up everything this year.
Now it’s intercepting Super Bowl parties for NBA players and staff, too.
The NBA reminded teams and players they are not to host or attend Super Bowl parties, watching only with household members at home or with four family/friends on the road (and in their hotel rooms). Super Bowl parties are somewhat of a tradition around the league as teams gather to watch the games together, often with friends and family. From Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The NBA informed its 30 teams that players, coaches and staff are not permitted to gather outside of their home for Super Bowl Sunday. At home, individuals are able to watch with household. On road, may host up to four family/close friends in hotel, with advance testing.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 6, 2021
“I love watching it,” Washington coach Scott Brooks told the Associated Press (his Wizards team plays Sunday in Charlotte then Monday in Chicago, so they will be on a plane for likely the first half of the game). “I love being a part, but this year is obviously different. It’s not like we’re going to have a Super Bowl party. I definitely like that atmosphere year to year and a lot of times if you do have it on the road you can have a big team activity and enjoy the game together. But this is obviously different.”
This reminder shouldn’t be a surprise, the NBA is cracking down to stop the spread of the virus through teams, leading to the postponement of games. It yanked Kevin Durant off the Brooklyn bench midgame because someone he was around tested positive (Durant has three negative tests that day, had the disease previously, and was pissed about the whole thing).
There were no positive tests among players in the past week. The NBA wants to prevent the Super Bowl from becoming a super spreader event.